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    How extruded polystyrene is making waves in the surfing world

    Foamex Group

    The world of surfing has evolved from the early days of wood and fibreglass surfboards to a more environment-friendly version of foam. A popular sport and pastime in Australia since 1915, the year it was first introduced to the country by Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku, surfing really took off only in the 1950s thanks to a visit by Hawaiian and mainland American lifeguards. The crowds were treated to the sight of the increased performance capabilities of fibreglass and balsawood boards.

    The surfing boom of the late 50s and early 60s saw Australian shapers experimenting with new designs using fibreglass, wood and foam. By the 90s all surfboards were made from foam and fibreglass, sporting three fins and leg ropes.

    Technological advances over the years have resulted in a more environment-friendly material - epoxy or polyurethane foam being used to create surfboards instead of the highly toxic polyester resin used earlier. Epoxy emits 50-75% fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) than polyester resin.

    The world of surfing has since moved to extruded polystyrene, which is seen as an ideal material for the sport. Polystyrene crystals are melted down with additives and a blowing agent to essentially deflate and combine all the ingredients together, turning into a water-resistant and lightweight material that can be shaped easily. Extruded polystyrene also lends superior strength to surfboards compared with other foams, making it extremely resistant to damage. Extruded polystyrene additionally has a good flex pattern, which makes it very responsive on water.

    All these qualities make the XPS extruded polystyrene insulation boards from Foamex Group ideal for use across diverse residential and commercial building and construction applications.

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